Friday, June 27, 2014

Rock Ledge Ranch

Garden of the Gods-RVC Outdoor Destinations
Colorado Springs, CO
June 26, 2014

With mild temperatures, a bright blue sky, and a cool breeze   blowing, yesterday was a
perfect day to go exploring. To become acclimated to higher elevations and thinner air, we decided that an easy walk on flat ground was the way to go. Destination...Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. This park is owned and operated by the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services with support from the Living History Association. There is an admission to take a self-guided walking tour...seniors get a real bargain at $5 per person. 

The trail meanders thru a meadow full of wildflowers, grasses, bunnies and birds.

The brightest and tallest thistle I have ever seen...

prickly pear cactus with beautiful redish orange centers...

bright yellow Perky Sue Plants...

and green, green grass with golden seeds dancing in the breeze!

 This historic site is a living history farm and museum depicting life in the Pikes Peak region. Four time periods are represented.
 1. The American Indian Area represents Ute and Plains Indians life in the 1700s.

There were no men around the tipi...only women and children. They were making beaded bracelets and necklaces to be sold in the General Store that is on the grounds.

I love baskets!
2. The Homestead site depicts pioneer life in the 1800's.

A very simple way of life...and hard work too.

This home was built back in the 1970's by a college student. It was his project to build this home like pioneers would have done it. The logs are held together with a mix of mud, straw and ashes.  

The door latch...made on the grounds at the Blacksmith Shop.
3. The Chamber's Farm site tells the story of one family that moved to this location in the 1870's.  Museum guides, wearing the clothing specific to the time period, did a great job telling stories about the Chamber family.
As we entered the kitchen, we were greeted with warm smiles and yummy smells...potato pancakes and baked beans.

Beautiful china graced the table...a drop-leaf table like the one I ate on as a child.  


The Chamber's home...Rock Ledge House 

  4. The last site is the Palmer Farm with its gracious Edwardian Dutch Colonial home...the Orchard House...built in 1907. 
This country estate was built by General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, for relatives William and Charlotte Sclater.   
The day we visited, the kitchen was quite busy. I cant believe I didn't get a picture of the original coal burning stove with two ovens. Rhubarb and blueberry preserves were being stirred and angel food cake was being mixed on the pastry counter.

Both recipes are from the original cookbook of the house.  

Original copper sink...what a beauty!
The two sinks were made of copper because it is "softer". It was very dented from all the years, but saved many a piece of china.

Unlike most homes in the area at this time, the Orchard House was equipped with all the "modern" and electricity being at the top of the list.  

I grew up using an old porcelain bathroom sink just like this...even the same faucets...we also had a claw foot huge bathtub like this home had.  

Every room had windows...


and every window had a gorgeous view and some had wonderful breezes.

In addition to the four historic sites, there is a working farm, a blacksmith, and a General Store. 

The blacksmith was making a chain.

So, can you tell I had a really good time?
I think a hike in the Garden of Gods is next.
Until then, take care and...
 happy trails!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dellenbaugh Tunnel

Moab, Ut
June 23, 2014

Tombstone Rock
Our last trail ride in Moab was a new trail for Joe and I. It was the Secret Spire, Dellenbaugh Tunnel Trail.

It's rated about half way down the moderate list in the Guide to Moab, UT Backroads and 4-Wheel Drive Trails by Charles A. Wells.

As you head west on Spring Canyon Road, massive Tombstone Rock is the focal point.

Taking a left turn at  Tombstone, the trail almost immediately becomes slickrock. There are several slickrock areas to traverse which give this trail it's rating.

This turned out to be a great last day of trails with Ronnie and Carol as our other 2 adventures didn't have any slickrock.

After some strategizing, we were on our way!

First Pearl...

then Jade...
Dee heading our way in Blanche.
We had several fun "up and over" on the rocks when Dee called. Her club (Friends 4 Wheelin') keep a portion of Hwy 191 clean as part of the Adopt A Highway Program. She was done and wanted to join us.

Dee knows these trail like the back of her hand...what a nice treat for us to follow!

And thank goodness for CB radios. Dee can give precise directions from her seat in Blanche on where to place tires.

Blanche and Jade
Our first stop was to see a place where water runs along rocks and flows over the cliff into the canyon. The rocks are smooth as glass. I bet it is beautiful when its raining.

This is where the water flows into Spring Canyon...its a long way down!

 Our next stop was the parking area to hike down to the Dellenbaugh Tunnel.

Dellenbaugh is described as am "oddity in nature". It is a tunnel thru the sandstone. Way cool!


The picture doesn't show how dark the tunnel really is. If I had taken the time to think about it, I probably would have had the "hibbie jibbies".

...Ronnie, Carol and Joe

When we exited the tunnel and turned the corner, we were at the cliff edge. What a nice view for lunch.

We did echoes, listened to the ravens fuss, and someone in the group who likes living on the edge was very brave to swing their feet over the cliff.

By this time, it was pretty hot so we skipped the Secret Spire part of the trail and headed home. Next time for sure...

We enjoyed the ride home...the sky was gorgeous. Blue with white fluffy clouds that made pretty shadows and rain over the LaSal Mountains way off in the distance.

Merrimack and the Monitor

If you look very closely on the left side, you can see the Windows Arches in Arches NP.

Last Tuesday (6/24), we left Moab for a very long travel day to Colorado Springs...about 420 miles.
Colorful Colorado sure is green!

We went thru several tunnels...

I-70 is almost a double decker road in some places...

We made a stop to stretch and walk the Tan Clan at Wilkerson Pass...

and we weren't the only ones that needed a stretch and some fresh air.


We are all settled in at Garden of the Gods RVC Outdoor Destinations. Ronnie and Carol are at home right next let the fun and exploring begin! We have never been to Colorado Springs...

Happy trails!